Pam from Stourbridge sends a link from the Stourbridge News to a story about a group of surgeons originally from Pakistan, making artificial limbs out of recycled items – plastic drain pipes for example! – for amputees in Pakistan and Syria.
One surgeon from Russells Hall Hospital in Dudley, Viquar Qurashi (below), has now pioneered the first artificial hand for a young man in Pakistan. Pam ends:
Watch the video! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pGPwR3POnuY
Searching the website revealed that the Naya Qadam Trust is a non-profit organisation established in 2005 by a volunteer group of overseas Pakistani doctors. It was formed in response to the 2005 South Asia Earthquake, particularly to aid those who were left physically disabled by the disaster:
“The literal translation of Naya Qadam is ‘New Step’. This name encompasses the heart of the organisation: restoring mobility to the disabled, thereby helping them lead independent lives and become actively contributing members of their communities. It achieves its aim by providing prosthetic limbs and adequate rehabilitation to lower limb amputees of trauma, diabetes and cancer who are poor and do not have the ability to help themselves.
“Naya Qadam uses cost effective techniques and raw materials to provide an inexpensive final product. This benefit is passed on to the patients in terms of low cost and economical alternatives to the more expensive and impractical prosthesis.
“The trust is a registered charity based in Islamabad, Pakistan, with a workshop run by a dedicated team of professionals in Sihala, under the support of Pakistan’s National Rural Support Programme, which acts as a partner and sponsor. A mobile workshop covering remote parts of the country ensures that prostheses reach even the most isolated communities.
“Though we admit the simplicity of this design (above), we assure you that this is a process that ensures high quality prosthesis to be manufactured to those in need. They have been tried and tested by UK-based renowned company SATRA Technology; the prosthesis submitted to them performed to a level that deemed them fit for their intended application. Furthermore if we consider the economy of their construction, the designs used in the production of these limbs are a cost effective method.
“The flexible and multi-purpose properties of this limb make it especially suited to the Pakistani culture, environment and religious practices, especially those of Islamic prayer. The fact that it can be worn without a shoe distinguishes it from other artificial limbs which restrict users from entering areas of worship”.
If you watch the video you will see a wealth of meaning in the ‘body-language‘ of the small boy watching the fitting of this new limb.
An antidote to gloom indeed!